August 5, 2008 / 12:36 PM / 11 years ago

Van der Vaart likely to be Real's only signing

MADRID (Reuters) - Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is likely to be the only new player at Real Madrid this season, club president Ramon Calderon said on Tuesday.

Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefan, Real Madrid's president Ramon Calderon ( R ) and Real Madrid's new signing Rafael Ferdinand Van Der Vaart (C ) of the Netherlands attend Van Der Vaart's presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Juan Medina

“Rafael van der Vaart is a player of great quality, vision and talent,” Calderon said when the midfielder was unveiled at the Bernabeu.

“We are certain that he will be a player who will help us complement the already very strong squad we have.

“He is the first and almost certainly the last signing we will make this season.”

Calderon’s comments will fuel recent speculation that the club are beginning to lose hope of luring Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.

The Portuguese international has been a long-time target for Real, but despite their willingness to pay a world record fee, United have made it clear they are determined to keep the player.

Van der Vaart has signed a five-year contract with Real who will pay Hamburg SV up to 15 million euros for the versatile midfielder.

The former Ajax player will be the fifth Dutchman in the Real Madrid squad, joining Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben, Royston Drenthe and Wesley Sneijder at the Bernabeu.

“I’ve spoken a lot with Sneijder and he’s spoken very positively about Real Madrid,” said Van der Vaart who added that the fact that his mother is Spanish made the move particularly special.

“For me it is very exciting especially because I have such strong ties with Spain,” he said before admitting that he was not fluent in Spanish.

“Give me two months and then I will be doing interviews in Spanish,” he added with a smile.

Reporting by Simon Baskett; editing by Trevor Huggins

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